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Yorkshire Carnegie deny sacking manager Mercer

Yorkshire Carnegie Rugby Union club have denied reports that they have sacked manager Gary Mercer, however the club have admitted he has been relieved of first team duties.

Yorkshire Carnegie deny sacking manager Mercer Credit: Press Association

The team, formerly Leeds Carnegie, have struggled this term, sitting third bottom of the Championship without a win in three games.

In a statement the club said:

The Board is naturally disappointed with the start we have made to the season, and we are working hard to ensure that an immediate improvement is made and sustained following the draw with Plymouth Albion on Friday night.

As part of this ongoing process, we have held detailed discussions with Gary. We now enter a spell of three weeks of British & Irish Cup pool games and, as per the last period of games in this competition, Tommy McGee will take charge of team affairs whilst the board, under the stewardship of Sir Ian McGeechan, look to resolve the best way forward for the club.

– Yorkshire Carnegie

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Robinson remains a Giant

Huddersfield Giants' halfback/hooker Luke Robinson has signed an extended agreement to stay in the club until the end of the 2017 season.

The former England player has made 201 appearances for the Giants, who he joined ahead of the 2008 season, meaning he will have completed ten full seasons when this contract expires.

Luke Robinson has signed an extended contract Credit: www.giantsrl.com

“It's dead easy really. I want to win something here and I know we can do it. We’ve been really close but not made the last step but overall since I came we’ve gone forwards massively.

"I am very happy here and to do ten years will be a proud achievement and one I’m grateful that I’ve a chance at.

"I don’t want to look back at my time here and say I was involved in building towards trophies – I want to be able to say I won trophies and I want more than the 2013 League Leaders Shield.

"At the moment I am training at nine and seven and I’ll just do whatever Baloo (Paul Anderson) thinks is best for the team and give it my best shot.

"We definitely have the squad and the new facilities we are now based have given everyone a real lift as have the new faces in the squad.”

– Luke Robinson, Huddersfield Giants

Giants Managing Director Richard Thewlis explained the role that Robinson has played over the years for the Giants:

“Luke was a marquee signing for us along with David Hodgson back in 2007 as we started back then to really invest in the squad with top class young English lads on the back of the Cup Final appearance.

"He has given tremendous commitment and brought class to the Club on and off the field with each of his three Head Coaches praising his toughness and having taken us to our second cup final and into the play-offs in every year bar one as well as representing England, he has for me, cemented his place as one of Huddersfield modern day greats.

"One of our goals here is to make memories and enable this group to stand alongside some of our tremendous teams of the past with silverware and I know that Luke Robinson deserves that accolade having seen day in day out his commitment to our Club.”

– Richard Thewlis, Managing Director, Huddersfield Giants

Pochettino: No regrets over selling fans favourite Dawson

Tottenham Head Coach Mauricio Pochettino has no regrets about allowing former captain Michael Dawson to join Hull City in August.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino has no regrets over selling former fans favourite Michael Dawson to Hull City Credit: Press Association

Dawson, who was a popular figure with Spurs fans, moved to the KC Stadium in search of regular first-team football.

But Pochettino is adamant the transfer only happened because all parties were happy for the move to take place.

Dawson left White Hart Lane and hooked up with former Spurs duo Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore.

"It was not only my decision - we had a chat with Michael about the situation and we agreed the best thing for him was to join Hull," Pochettino said.

"We were transparent with him all the way and we had a very good relationship - we always talked face-to-face, but I don't (regret letting him go) because it wasn't only down to me.

"It was a shared decision - between me, Michael, the club, and we decided the best thing was for him to join Hull.

"It is always sad, for the people who have been close to you for 10 years, when you part because you share a lot of emotions together.

"But this is professional football and when you decide to do something different, you need to look forward.

"Dawson chose to join Hull shortly after I arrived, while the decision to sell Livermore and Huddlestone was taken before I came here, but I am not scared of our old players at Hull.”

Evans slams Millers display

Rotherham Manager Steve Evans slammed his players after their 1-0 defeat to Birmingham in the Championship.

Rotherham Manager Steve Evans Credit: Press Association

Evans believed the performance was not good enough for the Championship and had no praise for any of his players.

"It looked like two poor teams out there," said Evans.

"I think it was the poorest performance from us that I can remember for a while. If that's our performance levels it's not going to be good enough for this league that's for sure.

"We look at ourselves and it was disjointed. The central defensive pairing have been a rock to what we have achieved in the last couple of years but today it looked today that neither of them had ever played football.

"We will go back on the training ground tomorrow and work hard and if people think we are going to give up what we fought for last year then there is no chance of this."

Evans said that some players would be "disgusted" with their showing.

He added: "We have got very honest staff and there are some individuals there who would be disgusted by their performance because they are normally very good for us.

"We will analyse some of it, train and get ready for next week. That's all we can do."

Former Hull man Miller signs for Wildcats

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats have signed Australian halfback Jacob Miller on a one-year deal.

Done deal: Former Hull FC player Jacob Miller has joined Wakefield Credit: Press Association

22-year-old Miller was released by Hull FC earlier this monthand has now been snapped up by their Super League rivals for their 2015 campaign.

He made 20 appearances for the Black and Whites and is now hoping to prove himself with the Wildcats.

"Wakefield have given me a great opportunity to rediscover my best form and this is a challenge I'm eager to fulfil," said Miller, who moved to England following his release by Wests Tigers last year.

Head coach James Webster added: "Jacob's signing allows us to have greater depth and competition in the halves.

“He is similar to many players that have signed for Wakefield in that he is a young player with a point to prove and a burning desire to cement a spot in the team."

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Sheffield United fans at first home game since Ched Evans controversy

Sheffield United fans have been at a home game for the first time since the Ched Evans controversy.

A number of supporters this afternoon called for the club to now move on.

Yesterday Friday November 21, 2014, Blades bosses reacted angrily after being forced into a u-turn following the public outcry.

Kate Hemingway reports.

Today's football results

Today's scores Credit: Press Association

Championship - Click here for scores and reaction

Huddersfield Town v Sheffield Wednesday

Blackburn Rovers v Leeds United

Rotherham United v Birmingham City

League One - Click here for scores and reaction

Chesterfield v Barnsley

Crawley Town v Scunthorpe United

Rochdale v Doncaster Rovers

Sheffield United v Oldham Athletic

Bradford City v Gillingham

League Two - Click here for scores and reaction

Hartlepool United v York City

Mansfield Town v Plymouth Argyle

Yorkshire derby ends all square

Sheffield Wednesday striker Stevie May and Huddersfield substitute Nahki Wells went closest to breaking the deadlock as the lunchtime Championship Yorkshire derby ended goalless at the John Smith's Stadium.

Sheffield Wednesday striker Stevie May made his Scotland debut this week but couldn't break the deadlock in the Yorkshire derby Credit: Press Association

May, who won his first full Scotland cap against England on Tuesday, fired in a 74th-minute shot which struck both crossbar and post, while Wells twice forced Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood into excellent saves after stepping off the bench in the 68th minute.

Huddersfield goalkeeper Joe Murphy pulled off the save of the game to deny Wednesday winger Royston Drenthe a last-minute winner, shortly after the Owls could have been awarded a penalty.

The West Yorkshire club extended their unbeaten home record to six matches, while Wednesday have drawn seven of their last 11 fixtures.

Diego Poyet, for Huddersfield, and Sheffield Wednesday's new loan signing Lewis McGugan both made their debuts for their respective clubs, while Murphy started in goal for the home side after Alex Smithies suffered a back spasm. Winger Royston Drenthe returned from suspension for the visitors.

West Ham loanee Diego Poyet made his debut for Huddersfield Credit: Press Association

McGugan fired a shot over the crossbar and Gary Taylor-Fletcher failed to connect properly with Jacques Maghoma's cut-back as Wednesday created the better early chances, while Huddersfield winger Sean Scannell sent two low crosses fizzing across the six-yard box at the other end.

Jacob Butterfield's slide-rule pass then carved open Wednesday's defence midway through the first half, setting Tommy Smith free on the overlap, and the right-back's raking cross was snuffed out by visiting centre-half Tom Lees' last-ditch near-post lunge.

Scannell turned neatly in the box to clip another inviting pass across the face of goal shortly before half-time as Town gained the upper hand, but a blue shirt failed to get on the end of it.

Wednesday left-back Jeremy Helan thwarted the charging Scannell with a timely challenge and on-loan centre-forward Grant Holt headed left-back Paul Dixon's cross over soon after the restart.

Butterfield dragged his shot off target after Harry Bunn's backheel on the edge of the box and Scannell again threatened to break the deadlock when he raced into shooting range and blazed an angled drive over the crossbar.

It needed something more incisive against a Wednesday defence that has kept 10 clean sheets this season and in the 68th minute Town boss Powell sent on striker Nahki Wells for Conor Coady.

Wells' response was almost instantaneous as he darted through on goal, only to see his shot parried by Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood.

But Wednesday went closest to scoring the game's opening goal in the 74th minute when May pounced in the box and lashed a rising shot which beat Murphy and struck the crossbar and then post before bouncing clear.

Wells then wasted a free-kick when he curled his effort high and wide after being hauled down by Wednesday skipper Glenn Loovens and blasted a shot straight at Westwood after finding himself in the clear with six minutes remaining.

Wednesday were denied a late spot-kick when substitute Chris Maguire went over Joel Lynch's challenge but was harshly booked for simulation.

Drenthe then sprang the offside trap in time added on, but his well-struck curling shot was brilliantly turned away by Murphy to ensure the spoils were shared.

Ched's next move in doubt according to newspaper reports

Can Ched Evans play football abroad? As his former club Sheffield United play their first home game since deciding not to re-sign him, national newspapers debate the striker's future career moves.

Ched Evans football career could be in doubt Credit: Press Association

The striker, who was freed from jail after serving half of a five-year sentence for rape, was due to train with the Blades.

However the club took a dramatic u-turn and refused to take back the player.

It was thought Evans could kick-start his career in Turkey with his advisers eyeing the well-paid Turkish league.

A source told the Daily Star: "Ched had mentioned that Turkey is a good option for him."

But now the likely route has been stopped in its tracks after the Ministry of Justice said the terms of his sex offenders licence means it would be near impossible to work abroad.

According to the Daily Mail, sex offenders are required to have regular meetings with their offender manager. He will be on licence until 2016.

However it was said today it would be 'difficult or impossible' for a sex offender to meet the terms of their licence while working abroad.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman told The Daily Mail: "We do not comment on individual prisoners.

"In general terms, a sex offender on licence would have to have regular meetings with their offender manager and that is difficult or impossible to do if they are living abroad."

Evans, who plans to appeal his 2012 conviction for raping a teenage waitress in a hotel in Rhyl, North Wales, served half of the five-year sentence he handed.

The remainder of the sentence will be completed on licence, meaning he must regularly check in with an offender manager until 2016.

By the time he has completed his entire sentence, he will be 27, and will remain on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

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